Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Practice

Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: 
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: £35 per credit
International full time annual tuition fee: To be confirmed

More about course fees »

Course type



Nursing and Allied Health

Study mode

Part Time

About your course

This Masters programme in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice from Liverpool John Moores University features the equivalent recognised components of a PgDip in Counselling and Psychotherapy and develops practitioner researchers via a challenging, contemporary curriculum.  *** PLEASE NOTE: This course is now operating a waiting list ***

  • Masters degree available to study part time over three years
  • Qualify as a counselling and psychotherapy practitioner on this flexible Masters programme with a two year clinical Diploma-level component
  • Enjoy a contemporary curriculum delivered by a research centre of excellence
  • Study a core model of person-centred and experiential practice, integrating other specific approaches
  • Carry out novel research in your chosen field
  • Benefit from excellent educational and professional training facilities, exceptionally supportive staff and a thriving student community
  • This course will only run subject to minimum numbers

This course was one of the most transformative and challenging educational experiences in my life and one that gave me the confidence and skills needed to enter the counselling profession following qualification.

S. Gilmore

I chose to complete the MA as it offered exactly what I was looking for. I am currently completing a Doctorate Qualification in Counselling Psychology and, as part of this qualification, I needed to complete a research study. Whereas other MAs required additional assignments, the course at LJMU offered a taught module, ethics committee, research supervisor and assessment.


Introduction to the School

The School of Nursing and Allied Health works with a wide range of health and social care organisations to design, deliver and evaluate a dynamic suite of postgraduate programmes.

Whatever your area of interest or career ambitions within the sector, the School’s innovative training will provide you with the skills, confidence and competence to provide first class support to those in your care.
All of our programmes meet the needs of the current healthcare agenda and the growing demands of this ever-evolving sector for increasingly skilled healthcare professionals.

Each and every course is informed by the latest research, ensuring that when you study with us, you will be at the forefront of developments in the field, working alongside leading experts. Indeed, in the 2014 REF, 68% of LJMU’s health-related research was considered world leading or internationally excellent.

Why study this course at LJMU?

This three year, level 7 programme enables you to qualify as a counselling and psychotherapy practitioner at Diploma level in the first two years and then progress to the final research year to complete the MA and become an active research practitioner, contributing to the field.

Aimed at recent graduates and those already in employment, the course builds on previous LJMU programmes which have been extremely highly regarded by employers.

Counselling is often a ‘second career’, so students come from a wide range of backgrounds in the voluntary, statutory and commercial sectors. This creates a rich learning environment, enhancing the experience for everyone.

The programme is underpinned by a sound theoretical base in the Person-Centred Approach and integrates other approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Emotion Focused Therapy as well as studying the theory of other models not practiced on the course.

Taught by practicing BACP registered therapists and supervisors, you will learn to work with issues such as loss, bereavement, anxiety, trauma, stress, mental health issues, depression and sexual abuse.

Integral to the course are considerations of power and prejudice, including those pertaining to class, disability, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

Programme outline and structure

This stimulating programme combines theory and practice and requires significant private study.

Year one is dedicated to theory, skills and personal development with one day of timetabled university study per week and one day of independent study.

Year two features 100 hours of LJMU approved practice placement which can be split between two settings. Practice placements may involve voluntary counselling agencies; counselling services in colleges, hospitals or workplaces or those attached to a GP surgery. You will need to find your own placements, with assistance from course tutors and will also need to access and fund appropriate supervision for this phase of your course.

Completion of year two is equivalent to a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy which will enable you to practice as a qualified counsellor, working with clients aged 16 and over. 

In year three independent study takes over as you embark on ethical, reliable and valid independent research for your 60 credit dissertation. Four days of timetabled sessions introduce this phase of the course and include research ethics and methodology. During your studies you will also have to attend and self-fund a minimum of 12 hours of personal therapy and approved external clinical supervision in year 2.  In terms of learner support, students are taught together, encouraging a supportive peer approach. Module leaders offer academic support on individual units and small group skills tutorials are available. Your university-based sessions will take place at the city centre campus - a vibrant location offering everything you could possibly need during your studies.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Level 7

  • Counselling Skills: Consolidates and develops counselling ability in preparation for the practice placement
  • Client-Centred Theory: Gives a thorough critical knowledge base of Person-Centred theory
  • Development Group: Self and Society with block learning: Focuses on self-awareness
  • Ethical Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy: Focuses on professional and ethical issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Comparative Counselling and Psychotherapy Theories: Compares and contrasts other schools of counselling and psychotherapy with the person centred approach
  • Counselling Practice: Enables you to synthesise theoretical learning, practice development and increasing self-awareness
  • Development GroupSelf in Relationship with block learning: Focuses on self-awareness and congruence
  • Ethics and Research in Counselling and Psychotherapy: Synthesises ethical research methodology with person-centred practice
  • Dissertation: Incorporates research methodology and an active research project resulting in a dissertation

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained. A review is currently in progress and will be operational for the academic year 2016/2017. Final details of this programme’s designated core and option modules will be made available on LJMU’s website as soon as possible and prior to formal enrolment for the academic year 2016/2017.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

How will I be assessed?

The programme offers a variety of teaching and assessment methods, although emphasis is placed on face-to-face contact due to the importance of communication skills in Counselling and Psychotherapy.

You will be taught via a series of lectures, seminars, films, discussion sessions, experiential learning and e-learning activities presented via LJMU’s Canvasfacility. Lecturers will offer valuable insights into the latest theories and practice techniques and ample one-to-one sessions will ensure the development of key communication skills.

Each module in the first two years is assessed through coursework. You are encouraged to learn with and from each other as part of a community of learners and peer assessment is a key feature of the course.

The final MA year involves four days of study followed by a research project to produce a dissertation, supported by tutorials and other forums. As this is a professional programme, you will need to be deemed fit to practice and tutors have a responsibility to individually assess your readiness to begin placement work.

Fitness and readiness to practice are assessed throughout the course.

Staff research interests

The School of Nursing and Applied Health works with key local, national and international stakeholders to ensure our degrees remain professionally relevant and enable you to forge useful contacts.

We have links with:

  • health authorities such as Merseycare NHS Trust, St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust and the North West Ambulance Service

  • the education sector, such as the City of Liverpool College, Alexian Research Centre, Germany; Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands; University College Thomas More, Belgium and KPY University, Malaysia
  • charity, community and voluntary groups

Entry requirements (Home)

You will need an Honours degree in a subject such as Health and Social Care, Nursing, Psychology or a more general, yet related, discipline. You will also need a counselling skills level 2 award or the ability to demonstrate basic counselling skills which may have been gained from relevant work or experience. Some applicants come from teaching and may have worked in support roles or social care.

Selection is by individual interview where we will assess your professional interest in the subject and your ability to study autonomously and to manage your own time, and cope with the intellectual and academic rigour of the course.

This course will only run subject to minimum numbers.

Entry requirements (International)

As international students can only undertake full time study due to Visa regulations, international students are not eligible to apply for this part-time Masters course.

Application and selection

You will be called for interview and undertake individual and group assessment. You will need to submit a pre-prepared piece of written work at your interview.

Final admission is subject to a satisfactory DBS check.

Will I be interviewed?



6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)


58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)

Is RPL accepted on this programme?


Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Financial support

Tuition fees

All full and part-time students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or pay by instalments. If you need advice about how you will pay your tuition fees, please email to LJMU’s Student Funding Team as soon as possible.

Sources of funding

Postgraduate loans for students from England, Wales and the EU

Postgraduate Masters loans are available for those studying in the 2017/18 academic year. The new government loans, of up to £10,280, are available for students attending eligible full and part-time Masters courses. To be eligible part time courses need to be studied at 50% intensity. Personal Eligibility is based on your age, your residency and if you have studied at Masters level previously.

Loan repayments will begin the April after course completion, with the first cohort of borrowers commencing repayments in April 2019. Repayments will be made at a rate of 6% of income above an earning threshold of £21,000. This threshold will be frozen until 2021. For details of loan terms, conditions and eligibility, go to:-

Postgraduate Loans for students from Northern Ireland

The Northern Irish government is also introducing a loan for students commencing postgraduate study from September 2017 onwards. Unlike the loan for students from England and Wales this scheme offers a loan for tuition fees only with no funding available from the NI government for living costs. The loan for tuition fees will be paid direct to LJMU.

The maximum loan for those starting in 2017 is £5,500 per course. Please note this means in some instances the loan will not cover your tuition fees in full and you will need to make alternative arrangements to pay the balance as well as source funding for your living costs.

LJMU Alumni Award

Alumni of the University are eligible to apply for a 20% reduction in their postgraduate tuition fees if they choose to progress onto a higher degree programme at LJMU. Both Home and international LJMU students and alumni can apply for this award (subject to eligibility criteria*).

Postgraduate International Scholarships

LJMU offers scholarships for international applicants accepted onto taught masters programmes (excluding distance learning programmes) and research degrees. Current LJMU international students and alumni interested in pursuing postgraduate study and research at the University are eligible to apply for these scholarships along with new applicants. 

English for Postgraduate Studies Bursary

A Bursary is also available for international students who need to improve their IELTS score prior to enrolling on their postgraduate course or research programme at the University. This course is run by LJMU’s International Study Centre.

Earn While You Learn

Working while you study means you may be able to pay for your course without taking out any further loans or at least reducing the amount you need to borrow. Working while you study also gives you the skills valued by employers, such as managing your workload and prioritising your time.

LJMU’s Vacancy website can help you find graduate vacancies, sandwich/industrial placements, internships / summer work, part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work-based learning placements. Over 1,000 local and regional employers regularly list opportunities on the website.

Earn While You Learn

Working while you study means you may be able to pay for your course without taking out any further loans or at least reducing the amount you need to borrow. Working while you study also gives you the skills valued by employers, such as managing your workload and prioritising your time.

LJMU’s Vacancy website can help you find graduate vacancies, sandwich/industrial placements, internships / summer work, part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work-based learning placements. Over 1,000 local and regional employers regularly list opportunities on the website.

Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)

Many students fund their postgraduate studies via Professional and Career Development Loans. This is a bank loan which you will have to pay back once you’ve completed the course. However, while you are studying any interest on the loan will be paid for you by the Skills Funding Agency. PCDLs worth between £300 and £10,000 are available for eligible postgraduates to fund up to two years of study (three if the course includes work experience). The loan is split into course fees and living costs. 

Employer sponsorship

Some organisations and companies fund the cost of postgraduate studies for their employees as they recognise the value of having well qualified staff. Check out our courses and see if there are any on offer that could enhance your current career. Remember, employer support doesn’t always have to be financial; it can take other forms too, such as flexible working arrangements, day release and time in lieu of study.

Support for disabled students

Disabled Students’ Allowances or DSAs are designed to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, on-going health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs don’t have to be paid back and the type of support you receive will be determined by your specific needs not your household income. Please contact LJMU’s Disability team for further advice: 0151 231 3164/3165.

Council tax exemption

All full-time postgraduate students studying courses lasting one year or more are eligible for a council tax exemption certificate.

Graduate employment

The programme offers great networking opportunities not only with peers but also with guest speakers.

Work placements enable valuable contacts to be made and course leaders offer a great deal of support in terms of job applications, interview technique, IT management issues, workplace guidance and self-employment.

Job opportunities will be circulated by staff and the BACP, giving you the best possible chance of finding your ideal position.

The course will create very employable graduates with many going on to work in the NHS, private and voluntary sectors. As a graduate you may move to higher management levels or developmental initiatives within your existing role, demonstrating an increased level of autonomy and responsibility. Psychotherapists and counsellors are much sought after in various areas of business and many course graduates will go on to work as qualified psychotherapists, practitioner researchers, IAPT wellbeing practitioners, support workers and mental health workers.

“LJMU was a great place to study and seems well regarded by employers. I was lucky enough to get paid work as a counsellor within just six weeks of completing my qualification!”


International study

Please note: this programme is not suitable for students who require a Tier 4 visa. Due to immigration requirements, Tier 4 international students must study on a full-time basis.

The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.
Further guidance on programme changes

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